Zits. Pimples. Acne. Whatever name you call it, it’s a problem that as many as 85% of teenagers struggle with, as well as many adults.
Acne is basically harmless over the long term, but it is bothersome and can cause embarrassment and shame. There is no surefire acne cure that works on everyone, but following these tips can reduce the frequency of your breakouts.
1. Avoid Touching Your Face
Try to get out of the habit of propping your head up with your hands or touching your face. Not only does the bacteria on your hands transfer onto your skin, but facial skin that is already inflamed will become even more irritated.
In addition, resist the temptation to pick at your pimples or pop them with your fingernails. This can lead to infection, and sometimes causes scars.
2. Wash Your Face Regularly
To keep the skin on your face free from dead skin cells, impurities, and excess oil, you need to wash it every morning and every evening, whether you have acne or not.
Wash your face gently with a mild cleanser, using warm water (not hot water) and either a very soft cloth or your clean hands. Rinse thoroughly, and use a clean towel to dry.
3. Use Moisturizer
Immediately after washing your face with your facial cleanser, replenish the moisture in your skin by using a moisturizer.
Which one is right for you depends on your skin type. If your skin is oily, you should use a gel-based moisturizer. If it’s dry, you’ll have more success with a lotion or cream. If you have combination skin, you may need a gel moisturizer for the oily areas, and a cream or lotion for the dry areas.
4. Wear Sunscreen
At least 20 minutes before you go out into the sun, put on a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, whether you currently have acne or not. To reduce the chances of your sunscreen creating more pimples, look for an oil-free sunscreen that doesn’t cause acne.
5. Nourish Your Skin
According to certain studies, foods with high levels of beta carotene and other forms of vitamin A may be beneficial not only for a healthy immune system, but also for healthy skin. Beta carotene is the type of vitamin A that plants produce naturally. You can get it from foods like kale, spinach, apricots, cantaloupe, carrots, and sweet potatoes.
6. Get Enough Exercise
Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and getting exercise has all kinds of benefits for your whole body, not to mention your mind. A good workout improves blood circulation in all parts of the body, and can soothe anxiety.
Don’t wear exercise clothes or use exercise equipment that rub against your skin – they may irritate the skin further. You should also try not to wear anything that makes you sweat a lot, like a hat, a fully-enclosed helmet, or goggles. Excessive sweat can increase the number of bacteria on the skin, leading to more breakouts, and cause more irritation.
Lastly, after exercising, always take a shower or bath as soon as possible.
Health experts believe that every aspect of our physical health, including the health of our skin, can be affected by our emotions. Some studies have shown a positive correlation between a subject’s stress level and the severity of the subject’s acne.
Stop and ask yourself where your stress is coming from. Also, make an effort to think about and understand how you deal with stress, and how and why you react the way you do. Finally, find a good way to get rid of your stress before it overflows – it may lead to a new acne breakout.
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